How to Plan a Lease Exit Strategy

Plan Your Lease Exit Strategy

discussion over carRenting or leasing a vehicle can be a great way to get an affordable car. However, as your lease nears completion, you need to consider your exit strategy. There are four things you can do when your lease runs out: return your vehicle, extend your lease, purchase your vehicle or trade it. Failure to do these on time can result in fees and penalties that you don’t want to pay. Follow these lease exit strategy tips to avoid these problems.

Returning Your Vehicle

About a month before your lease is up, you should be contacted by the company that is leasing your vehicle. They will give you instructions about your vehicles upcoming inspection and return. Follow these instructions to the letter! Returning your car too early or to the wrong location can result in breaking your lease and earning a poor credit score as a result. They may ask you to return your vehicle to a dealer from which you didn’t get the vehicle. That’s okay! That’s common.

Extending Your Lease

Another option you may be given is extending your lease. The terms for extending your lease are often more favorable than your original terms; it often depends on how well you treated your car during your leasing period. If it required a lot of repairs on problems you caused, your terms may be unfavorable or you may not even be offered the option to extend. Many dealers will be willing to negotiate on these extension terms.

Buying the Vehicle

One of the nicer options of ending your lease is to simply buy the vehicle. The leaser will often extend a purchase price that is much lower than the original price of the car before you began leasing. However, don’t simply purchase the car because the price is low. Do your homework on well researched online car buying guides to decide if the car is worth buying. Check its “Kelley Blue Book” value as well as the value of similar cars in the area before purchasing.


Trading It In

One option your leasing company may not extend your way is the option to trade-in your vehicle. You can trade-in for a new leased vehicle or even to purchase a vehicle. This is the option that many dealers try to avoid because it is the most complex and difficult to negotiate with leasers.


Choosing the Right Option

The right option for ending your lease should be the option you can afford. If you can’t afford buying the car, try extending your lease to keep up with the smaller payments. If you still can’t figure out the right options, try reading “Honest Car Dealer.” Our insightful and helpful auto blog offers a wide range of articles on finding a car, buying a car and ending your lease. We can help improve your auto buying process to make it as effective as possible for you.


October 8, 2012 by Jamie Rettig